When something goes wrong, when there’s a problem, or when you make a mistake, you often try to see the reason or the cause of the issue. If you trip on a shoe when you walk into the hallway in your house, you get frustrated with the person who left the shoe on the floor. You think, “It’s your fault I tripped.” If you are in the middle of traffic and you are rushing to work but then someone keeps cutting you, you get on a road rage and when you get to work, you blame that other driver for making you late and in such a sour mood for your presentation.
This is the same with alcoholics. Ask anyone why they drink the way they do and they’ll answer that it’s because of someone or something else in their lives. However, when you look at it, only one person is responsible for it is the one who is actually doing the drinking.
I Drink Because…
“I drink because I am out of control.” “I drink because I have unresolved pain and issues in my life.” You can rarely hear these words being uttered by an alcoholic. Often, they would blame someone else, something else, to make other things aside from themselves the cause of their drinking problems.
In fact, many children of alcoholics would often hear their parents say, “I drink because you are/ you do <blank>.” And as children, they would hear this repeatedly from their parents that they would start to believe it.
Going Back to the Shoes
Going back to the scenario of the shoes in the hallway, it makes sense if you become upset with the person who left it there the first time you tripped. The second or third time, you can even be irritated and frustrated. The fourth time, you know full well there may be shoes in the hallway so you should avoid them, or help put those shoes in the shoe rack. The same thing is true for alcoholics. Their behavior, decisions, attitudes, and choices are their own. Their decision to pour that glass of liquor (and the next, and the next, and the next…) is all up to them.
We Can’t Control Another’s Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a baffling disease. Despite studies, there are still contradictions about how to prevent, treat, or cure alcoholism. There’s still so much we don’t understand how one continues to drink and drink despite the harm it causes their bodies and their lives, and the harm it causes their families.
If you are someone who grew up in an alcoholic home, it may take many years or the rest of your lifetime to make peace with your parent/s becoming an alcoholic or for making you believe it’s somehow your fault. We may feel bad when they start to argue with us and they drink again. We hope to be able to make them feel different about us so they can stop drinking. However, we cannot make them stop. It’s their choice to make to stop and to seek help.
And we’re here for them.
If you or your loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact us.